Pandora: 'Godfather' star Duvall to be Gilliam's Don

Maverick director Terry Gilliam's ongoing battle to get his big screen version of Don Quixote off the ground has proved one of the movie industry's more fraught sagas in recent years.

The former Monty Python star's first attempt at his dream project memorably ended in disaster back in 2000, courtesy of a freak storm washing away his set and lead actor Jean Rochefort pulling out after suffering a herniated disc.

To add further salt to the wounds, a subsequent documentary, Lost In La Mancha, charting the London-based American's misfortune, went on to prove a critical hit.

Now, with filming on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote due to finally recommence next year, Gilliam excitedly reveals he's identified a new lead man in the impressive form of Godfather star Robert Duvall, pictured.

"Well it's up, we're getting going again," says Gilliam. "As Bobby says, we don't have the money yet. I just think he's phenomenal. I sent him the script, and he was so excited by it."

News of a Hollywood heavyweight coming on board is especially welcome following Johnny Depp's withdrawal. Gilliam adds: "If I get Robert Duvall talking as he was on the phone with that kind of excitement, energy and childish enthusiasm, I thought, this is going to be great. I just think he's extraordinary."

As many a weary Gilliam devotee would be quick to point out, there are likely to be plenty of twists yet.

Miss World sets MEP's heart all a-flutter

The crowning of Gibraltar's Kaiane Aldorino, who is therefore British, as Miss World has brought contrasting reactions from the Rock's Euro MPs. "Judging from her press photos, the victory was well deserved," purrs Giles Chichester, a Tory. Graham Watson, his Liberal Democrat rival, accuses his opponent of "ogling". Is it fair to assume Miss Aldorino, 22, has probably heard of neither of them?

Rage against Radio 5 Live

As the battle for the Christmas No 1 hots up, Radio 5 Live's bid to get in on the act proved ill-fated. The breakfast show bagged a live performance from Rage Against The Machine, whose "Killing In The Name" was leading X Factor rival Joe McElderry's "The Climb" by 40,000 sales yesterday. RATM refused to cut their expletives from the song, so producers hastily pulled the plug. Host Shelagh Fogarty told listeners: "Buy Joe's record!"

A proper Burke

Last year's X Factor winner Alexandra Burke says she has been exposed to the unseemly underbelly of celebrity life. "Oh my God, it was horrible," she tells Company magazine. "It's only been in the last month, when I've been promoting, that I'm like, 'Are, these people on drugs?'." Surely not!

Punk gone soft

Punk hero John Lydon has been taking aim at musical rivals Radiohead and Coldplay. Denouncing them as "soulless", the old boy goes on to snarl: "They don't care about you. They care about lining their coffers." I'm duty-bound to add that Mr Lydon recently became the face of Country Life Butter.

pandora@independent.co.uk

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